Still. Life!


I am trying to remember you
Let you go
The same time
Nayyirah Waheed

Three years ago, these were the last, somewhat frantic, days of our life in Fort Lauderdale. The movers would be at the house on the 17th and 18th. On the 19th as dawn was breaking, we’d head out, Sherod in his truck, I in my car, with Boo and Spot and Daisy along for the ride. On this date, that year, Maria was on the eve of heading to her new home in Tallahassee.

It is increasingly peculiar, this business of looking back. The dates are so clearly registered in the muscle and sinew and bone of my very body it seems, so I cannot but stop and pay attention. What was once so vivid there was no way I would ever forget a single detail now grows more blurry, while still so present. I was driving home not long ago and out of nowhere, realized my mind was carefully crafting the definitive answer I wished I could give to one of the serious, innuendo-laden concerns raised about the New River Regional Ministry, especially on the St Ambrose campus. I walked myself back from the edge of self-righteous rage. I reminded myself life had gone on. I listened to myself breathe.

We are called to live fruitful lives and these past few days have been filled with reminders that what fruit we bear, we bear where we are. I picked three San Marzano tomatoes and an eggplant last evening, then found another eggplant the Spouseman had forgotten on a bench close to the vegetable garden. The first blackberry of our new blackberry vine was ripe for the picking as well. It looked so good, I ate it as soon as I took this picture, sweet and delicious and the essence of summer.

These next few weeks will find us scrambling to put up, can and freeze such abundance.

Yesterday, during the Bible Study I facilitate weekly, we had a marvelous conversation about call and commission—how apostolic succession is in tension with a Spirit-filled commission that comes from an unexpected place. We are working on the 9th chapter of Acts, and looking at Ananias, who was not an apostle yet issued the prophetic call to Saul. That lead to a discussion of the ordination of Bishop Seabury and the ordination of the Philadelphia 11 and in the conversation, our connection to every bit of the story of God’s work in creation told in the Bible was real and energizing.

Waheed’s brief and eloquent verses give me a sense of my life in these still early days of summer, when the harvest has begun and winter and desolation are still within sight, even as they grow dimmer in memory. Still. Life.

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